Pemex has submitted a unit development plan for its pioneering Zama Field in the Mexican sector of the Gulf of Mexico to the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) for formal approval, the company said on March 23.

The development plan for Zama, discovered in 2017 by Houston-based Talos Energy in the Sureste Basin, features two offshore platforms and calls for drilling and completing 46 wells.

Zama has proven to be the subject of much political turmoil with the Mexican government removing Talos from the operatorship of the project last year and handing it over to state-run Pemex, but Talos and others remain partners.

The produced oil and gas would be transported to new onshore facilities at the Dos Bocas Maritime Terminal. The expectation is that Zama will produce up to 180,000 bbl/d of 24º to 27º API gravity oil, Pemex said in a news release.

The projected production from Zama represents about 10% of Mexico’s current oil production, Pemex added.

The Zama-1 well offshore Mexico found over 1,100 feet of gross pay with estimates of 300 million to 550 million barrels of recoverable reserves in 2017 in 550 feet water depth.

The field was named the 2017 global discovery of the year by Wood Mackenzie, and it is considered strategic by Mexico and Pemex. Pemex gained operatorship in March 2022 through a unitization process.

Following the submission of the development plan, Talos said in a news release that an integrated project team (IPT) of individuals from all four Zama unitholders – Pemex, Talos Winterhsall Dea and Harbour Energy – has been established to manage the development and operation of Zama going forward.

Pemex and Talos will co-lead the planning, drilling, construction, and completion of all Zama wells and co-lead the planning, execution, and delivery of Zama's offshore infrastructure.

Talos, Pemex, and Wintershall Dea will head the project management office.

Talos said front-end engineering and design work is expected to continue while awaiting plan approval from CNH, which is expected within the next six months. A final investment decision could be made after all regulatory approvals are obtained.

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Talos also said the Zama unitholders finalized agreements for oil and gas marketing and facilities use based on globally recognized market indices and terms consistent with international best practices.

Pemex operates the Block 7 Consortium with 50.4% interest on behalf of Wintershall with 19.8%, Talos with 17.4% and Harbour with 12.4%.